Implementation Science (IMPLEMENT SCI )

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


Implementation Science is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that aims to publish research relevant to the scientific study of methods to promote the uptake of research findings into routine healthcare in both clinical and policy contexts. Biomedical research constantly produces new findings - but often these are not routinely translated into health care practice. Implementation research is the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of clinical research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice, and hence to improve the quality and effectiveness of health care. It includes the study of influences on healthcare professional and organisational behaviour.

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Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: Maternal and newborn mortality remain unacceptably high in sub-Saharan Africa. Tanzania and Uganda are committed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality, but progress has been limited and many essential interventions are unavailable in primary and referral facilities. Quality management has the potential to overcome low implementation levels by assisting teams of health workers and others finding local solutions to problems in delivering quality care and the underutilization of health services by the community. Existing evidence of the effect of quality management on health worker performance in these contexts has important limitations, and the feasibility of expanding quality management to the community level is unknown. We aim to assess quality management at the district, facility, and community levels, supported by information from high-quality, continuous surveys, and report effects of the quality management intervention on the utilization and quality of services in Tanzania and Uganda. In Uganda and Tanzania, the Expanded Quality Management Using Information Power (EQUIP) intervention is implemented in one intervention district and evaluated using a plausibility design with one non-randomly selected comparison district. The quality management approach is based on the collaborative model for improvement, in which groups of quality improvement teams test new implementation strategies (change ideas) and periodically meet to share results and identify the best strategies. The teams use locally-generated community and health facility data to monitor improvements. In addition, data from continuous health facility and household surveys are used to guide prioritization and decision making by quality improvement teams as well as for evaluation of the intervention. These data include input, process, output, coverage, implementation practice, and client satisfaction indicators in both intervention and comparison districts. Thus, intervention districts receive quality management and continuous surveys, and comparison districts-only continuous surveys. EQUIP is a district-scale, proof-of-concept study that evaluates a quality management approach for maternal and newborn health including communities, health facilities, and district health managers, supported by high-quality data from independent continuous household and health facility surveys. The study will generate robust evidence about the effectiveness of quality management and will inform future nationwide implementation approaches for health system strengthening in low-resource settings.Trial registration: PACTR201311000681314.
    Implementation Science 04/2014; 9(1):41.
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    ABSTRACT: Stroke can result in death and long-term disability. Fast and high-quality care can reduce the impact of stroke, but UK national audit data has demonstrated variability in compliance with recommended processes of care. Though quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) are widely used, whether a QIC could improve reliability of stroke care was unknown. Twenty-four NHS hospitals in the Northwest of England were randomly allocated to participate either in Stroke 90:10, a QIC based on the Breakthrough Series (BTS) model, or to a control group giving normal care. The QIC focused on nine processes of quality care for stroke already used in the national stroke audit. The nine processes were grouped into two distinct care bundles: one relating to early hours care and one relating to rehabilitation following stroke. Using an interrupted time series design and difference-in-difference analysis, we aimed to determine whether hospitals participating in the QIC improved more than the control group on bundle compliance. Data were available from nine interventions (3,533 patients) and nine control hospitals (3,059 patients). Hospitals in the QIC showed a modest improvement from baseline in the odds of average compliance equivalent to a relative improvement of 10.9% (95% CI 1.3%, 20.6%) in the Early Hours Bundle and 11.2% (95% CI 1.4%, 21.5%) in the Rehabilitation Bundle. Secondary analysis suggested that some specific processes were more sensitive to an intervention effect. Some aspects of stroke care improved during the QIC, but the effects of the QIC were modest and further improvement is needed. The extent to which a BTS QIC can improve quality of stroke care remains uncertain. Some aspects of care may respond better to collaboratives than others.Trial registration: ISRCTN13893902.
    Implementation Science 04/2014; 9(1):40.
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing recognition of gaps between best scientific evidence and clinical practice. This systematic review aimed to assess the volume and scope of peer-reviewed cancer research output in the years 2000, 2005, and 2010. Eligible papers were published in English and reported on evidence-practice gaps in cancer care. The electronic database Medline was searched for three time periods using MeSH headings and keywords. Abstracts were assessed against eligibility criteria by one reviewer and checked by a second. Papers meeting eligibility criteria were coded as data-based or non-data-based, and by cancer type of focus. All data-based papers were then further classified as descriptive studies documenting the extent of, or barriers to addressing, the evidence-practice gap; or intervention studies examining the effectiveness of strategies to reduce the evidence-practice gap. A total of 176 eligible papers were identified. The number of publications significantly increased over time, from 25 in 2000 to 100 in 2010 (p < 0.001). Of the 176 identified papers, 160 were data-based. The majority of these (n = 150) reported descriptive studies. Only 10 studies examined the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce discrepancies between evidence and clinical practice. Of these, only one was a randomized controlled trial. Of all data-based studies, almost one-third (n = 48) examined breast cancer care. While the number of publications investigating evidence-practice gaps in cancer care increased over a ten-year period, most studies continued to describe gaps between best evidence and clinical practice, rather than rigorously testing interventions to reduce the gap.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):37.
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    ABSTRACT: Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability internationally. One of the three effective interventions in the acute phase of stroke care is thrombolytic therapy with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), if given within 4.5 hours of onset to appropriate cases of ischaemic stroke.Objectives: To test the effectiveness of a multi-component multidisciplinary collaborative approach compared to usual care as a strategy for increasing thrombolysis rates for all stroke patients at intervention hospitals, while maintaining accepted benchmarks for low rates of intracranial haemorrhage and high rates of functional outcomes for both groups at three months.Methods and design: A cluster randomised controlled trial of 20 hospitals across 3 Australian states with 2 groups: multi- component multidisciplinary collaborative intervention as the experimental group and usual care as the control group. The intervention is based on behavioural theory and analysis of the steps, roles and barriers relating to rapid assessment for thrombolysis eligibility; it involves a comprehensive range of strategies addressing individual-level and system-level change at each site. The primary outcome is the difference in tPA rates between the two groups post-intervention. The secondary outcome is the proportion of tPA treated patients in both groups with good functional outcomes (modified Rankin Score (mRS <2) and the proportion with intracranial haemorrhage (mRS >2), compared to international benchmarks. TIPS will trial a comprehensive, multi-component and multidisciplinary collaborative approach to improving thrombolysis rates at multiple sites. The trial has the potential to identify methods for optimal care which can be implemented for stroke patients during the acute phase. Study findings will include barriers and solutions to effective thrombolysis implementation and trial outcomes will be published whether significant or not.Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12613000939796.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):38.
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    ABSTRACT: Practice pattern data demonstrate regional variation and lower than expected rates of adherence to practice guideline (PG) recommendations for the treatment of stage II/IIIA resected and stage IIIA/IIIB unresected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in Ontario, Canada. This study sought to understand how clinical decisions are made for the treatment of these patients and the role of PGs. Surveys and key informant interviews were undertaken with clinicians and administrators. Participants reported favorable ratings for PGs and the evidentiary bases underpinning them. The majority of participants agreed more patients should have received treatment and that regional variation is problematic. Participants estimated that up to 30% of patients are not good candidates for treatment and up to 20% of patients refuse treatment. The most common barrier to implementing PGs was the lack of organizational support by clinical administrative leadership. There was concern that the trial results underpinning the PG recommendations were not generalizable to the typical patients seen in clinic. The qualitative analysis yielded five themes related to physicians' decision making: the unique patient, the unique physician, the family, the clinical team, and the clinical evidence. A dynamic interplay between these factors exists. Our study demonstrates the challenges inherent in (i) the complexity of clinical decision making; (ii) how quality of care problems are perceived and operationalized; and (iii) the clinical appropriateness and utility of PG recommendations. We argue that systematic and rigorous methodologies to help decision makers mitigate or negotiate these challenges are warranted.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):36.
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    ABSTRACT: Health policy makers have stated that diabetes prevention is a priority; however, the type, intensity, and target of interventions or policy changes that will achieve the greatest impact remains uncertain. In response to this uncertainty, the Diabetes Population Risk Tool (DPoRT) was developed and validated to estimate future diabetes risk based on routinely collected population data. To facilitate use of DPoRT, we partnered with regional and provincial health-related decision makers in Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. Primary objectives include: i) evaluate the effectiveness of partnerships between the research team and DPoRT users; ii) explore strategies that facilitate uptake and overcome barriers to DPoRT use; and iii) implement and evaluate the knowledge translation approach. This protocol reflects an integrated knowledge translation (IKT) approach and corresponds to the action phase of the Knowledge-to-Action (KtoA) framework. Our IKT approach includes: employing a knowledge brokering team to facilitate relationships with DPoRT users (objective 1); tailored training for DPoRT users; assessment of barriers and facilitators to DPoRT use; and customized dissemination strategies to present DPoRT outputs to decision maker audiences (objective 2). Finally, a utilization-focused evaluation will assess the effectiveness and impact of the proposed KtoA process for DPoRT application (objective 3). This research design utilizes a multiple case study approach. Units of analyses consist of two public health units, one provincial health organization, and one provincial knowledge dissemination team whereby we will connect with multiple regional health authorities. Evaluation will be based on analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data collected from passive (e.g., observer notes) and active (e.g., surveys and interviews) methods. DPoRT offers an innovative way to make routinely collected population health data practical and meaningful for diabetes prevention planning and decision making. Importantly, we will evaluate the utility of the KtoA cycle for a novel purpose - the application of a tool. Additionally, we will evaluate this approach in multiple diverse settings, thus considering contextual factors. This research will offer insights into how knowledge translation strategies can support the use of population-based risk assessment tools to promote informed decision making in health-related settings.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):35.
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    ABSTRACT: In the last decade, guideline organizations faced a number of problems, including a lack of standardization in guideline development methods and suboptimal guideline implementation. To contribute to the solution of these problems, we produced a toolbox for guideline development, implementation, revision, and evaluation. All relevant guideline organizations in the Netherlands were approached to prioritize the topics. We sent out a questionnaire and discussed the results at an invitational conference. Based on consensus, twelve topics were selected for the development of new tools. Subsequently, working groups were composed for the development of the tools. After development of the tools, their draft versions were pilot tested in 40 guideline projects. Based on the results of the pilot tests, the tools were refined and their final versions were presented. The vast majority of organizations involved in pilot testing of the tools reported satisfaction with using the tools. Guideline experts involved in pilot testing of the tools proposed a variety of suggestions for the implementation of the tools. The tools are available in Dutch and in English at a web-based platform on guideline development and implementation ( A collaborative approach was used for the development and evaluation of a toolbox for development, implementation, revision, and evaluation of guidelines. This approach yielded a potentially powerful toolbox for improving the quality and implementation of Dutch clinical guidelines. Collaboration between guideline organizations within this project led to stronger linkages, which is useful for enhancing coordination of guideline development and implementation and preventing duplication of efforts. Use of the toolbox could improve quality standards in the Netherlands, and might facilitate the development of high-quality guidelines in other countries as well.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):34.
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    ABSTRACT: To be able to design effective strategies to improve healthcare professionals' implementation behaviors, a valid and reliable questionnaire is needed to assess potential implementation determinants. The present study describes the development of the Determinants of Implementation Behavior Questionnaire (DIBQ) and investigates the reliability and validity of this Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF)-based questionnaire. The DIBQ was developed to measure the potential behavioral determinants of the 12-domain version of the TDF (Michie et al., 2005). We identified existing questionnaires including items assessing constructs within TDF domains and developed new items where needed. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine whether the predefined structure of the TDF-based questionnaire was supported by the data. Cronbach's alpha was calculated to assess internal consistency reliability of the questionnaire, and domains' discriminant validity was investigated. We developed an initial questionnaire containing 100 items assessing 12 domains. Results obtained from confirmatory factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha resulted in the final questionnaire consisting of 93 items assessing 18 domains, explaining 63.3% of the variance, and internal consistency reliability values ranging from .68 to .93. Domains demonstrated good discriminant validity, although the domains 'Knowledge' and 'Skills' and the domains 'Skills' and 'Social/professional role and identity' were highly correlated. We have developed a valid and reliable questionnaire that can be used to assess potential determinants of healthcare professional implementation behavior following the theoretical domains of the TDF. The DIBQ can be used by researchers and practitioners who are interested in identifying determinants of implementation behaviors in order to be able to develop effective strategies to improve healthcare professionals' implementation behaviors. Furthermore, the findings provide a novel validation of the TDF and indicate that the domain 'Environmental context and resources' might be divided into several environment-related domains.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):33.
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    ABSTRACT: Quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) continue to be widely used, yet evidence for their effectiveness is equivocal. We sought to explain what happened in Stroke 90:10, a QIC designed to improve stroke care in 24 hospitals in the North West of England. Our study drew in part on the literature on collective action and inter-organizational collaboration. This literature has been relatively neglected in evaluations of QICs, even though they are founded on principles of co-operation and sharing. We interviewed 32 professionals in hospitals that participated in Stroke 90:10, conducted a focus group with the QIC faculty team, and reviewed purposively sampled documents including reports and newsletters. Analysis was based on a modified form of Framework Analysis, combining sensitizing constructs derived from the literature and new, empirically derived thematic categories. Improvements in stroke care were attributed to QIC participation by many professionals. They described how the QIC fostered a sense of community and increased attention to stroke care within their organizations. However, participants' experiences of the QIC varied. Starting positions were different; some organizations were achieving higher levels of performance than others before the QIC began, and some had more pre-existing experience of quality improvement methods. Some participants had more to learn, others more to teach. Some evidence of free-riding was found. Benchmarking improvement was variously experienced as friendly rivalry or as time-consuming and stressful. Participants' competitive desire to demonstrate success sometimes conflicted with collaborative aims; some experienced competing organizational pressures or saw the QIC as duplication of effort. Experiences of inter-organizational collaboration were influenced by variations in intra-organizational support. Collaboration is not the only mode of behavior likely to occur within a QIC. Our study revealed a mixed picture of collaboration, free-riding and competition. QICs should learn from work on the challenges of collective action; set realistic goals; account for context; ensure sufficient time and resources are made available; and carefully manage the collaborative to mitigate the risks of collaborative inertia and unhelpful competitive or anti-cooperative behaviors. Individual organizations should assess the costs and benefits of collaboration as a means of attaining quality improvement.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):32.
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    ABSTRACT: Dementia is a growing problem, causing substantial burden for patients, their families, and society. General practitioners (GPs) play an important role in diagnosing and managing dementia; however, there are gaps between recommended and current practice. The aim of this study was to explore GPs' reported practice in diagnosing and managing dementia and to describe, in theoretical terms, the proposed explanations for practice that was and was not consistent with evidence-based guidelines. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with GPs in Victoria, Australia. The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) guided data collection and analysis. Interviews explored the factors hindering and enabling achievement of 13 recommended behaviours. Data were analysed using content and thematic analysis. This paper presents an in-depth description of the factors influencing two behaviours, assessing co-morbid depression using a validated tool, and conducting a formal cognitive assessment using a validated scale. A total of 30 GPs were interviewed. Most GPs reported that they did not assess for co-morbid depression using a validated tool as per recommended guidance. Barriers included the belief that depression can be adequately assessed using general clinical indicators and that validated tools provide little additional information (theoretical domain of 'Beliefs about consequences'); discomfort in using validated tools ('Emotion'), possibly due to limited training and confidence ('Skills'; 'Beliefs about capabilities'); limited awareness of the need for, and forgetting to conduct, a depression assessment ('Knowledge'; 'Memory, attention and decision processes'). Most reported practising in a manner consistent with the recommendation that a formal cognitive assessment using a validated scale be undertaken. Key factors enabling this were having an awareness of the need to conduct a cognitive assessment ('Knowledge'); possessing the necessary skills and confidence ('Skills'; 'Beliefs about capabilities'); and having adequate time and resources ('Environmental context and resources'). This is the first study to our knowledge to use a theoretical approach to investigate the barriers and enablers to guideline-recommended diagnosis and management of dementia in general practice. It has identified key factors likely to explain GPs' uptake of the guidelines. The results have informed the design of an intervention aimed at supporting practice change in line with dementia guidelines, which is currently being evaluated in a cluster randomised trial.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):31.
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    ABSTRACT: Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are vital conduits of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) information; however, few discuss LTPA with their patients with disabilities. 'Changing Minds, Changing Lives' (CMCL) is a nationwide, theory- and evidence-based seminar aimed at increasing LTPA-discussion among HCPs by enhancing their attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control (PBC), and intentions. The purposes of the current study were to: examine the effectiveness and short- and long-term maintenance of a CMCL seminar on HCPs' social cognitions to discuss LTPA; and explore key implementation variables that predict changes in HCPs' social cognitions. Prior-to, as well as immediately, one, and six months following a CMCL seminar, 97 HCPs (Mage +/- SD = 36.23 +/- 10.42; 69.0% female; 97.9% Caucasian; 38.1% rehabilitation therapists; years in profession = 11.56 +/- 9.94) from five Canadian provinces completed questionnaires that assessed the Theory of Planned Behaviour constructs with regard to discussing LTPA with their patients with a physical disability. Key presenter characteristics and intervention delivery components were extracted from presenter demographic questionnaires and seminar checklists, respectively. Separate repeated-measures ANOVAs and post-hoc t-tests evaluated changes in HCPs' social cognitions. Hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted to predict intentions and to understand which implementation variables may help explain significant changes in social cognitions. Significant increases in HCPs' social cognitions for discussing LTPA were reported from pre- to post-seminar (ps <0.002); however, increases were not maintained at follow-up. PBC emerged as the strongest predictor of participants' post-CMCL intentions (beta = 0.45, p <0.001). Although several implementation characteristics were related to changes in perceptions, the number of seminars the presenter delivered was the only significant negative predictor of post-seminar PBC (beta = -0.18, p <0.05). Future iterations of the CMCL intervention should include additional strategies to sustain improvements in HCPs' social cognitions over time. Future CMCL evaluations should measure additional implementation variables so that the key ingredients for 'Changing Minds' can continue to be investigated.
    Implementation Science 03/2014; 9(1):30.
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to develop a statistical model to assess factors associated with information seeking in a Canadian public health department. Managers and professional consultants of a public health department serving a large urban population named whom they turned to for help, whom they considered experts in evidence-informed practice, and whom they considered friends. Multilevel regression analysis and exponential random graph modeling were used to predict the formation of information seeking and expertise-recognition connections by personal characteristics of the seeker and source, and the structural attributes of the social networks. The respondents were more likely to recognize the members of the supervisory/administrative division as experts. The extent to which an individual implemented evidence-based practice (EBP) principles in daily practice was a significant predictor of both being an information source and being recognized as expert by peers. Friendship was a significant predictor of both information seeking and expertise-recognition connections. The analysis showed a communication network segregated by organizational divisions. Managers were identified frequently as information sources, even though this is not a part of their formal role. Self-perceived implementation of EBP in practice was a significant predictor of being an information source or an expert, implying a positive atmosphere towards implementation of evidence-informed decision making in this public health organization. Results also implied that the perception of accessibility and trust were significant predictors of expertise recognition.
    Implementation Science 02/2014; 9(1):29.
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    ABSTRACT: Funding agencies constitute one essential pillar for policy makers, researchers and health service delivery institutions. Such agencies are increasingly providing support for science implementation. In this paper, we investigate health research funding agencies and how they support the integration of science into policy, and of science into practice, and vice versa. We selected six countries: Australia, The Netherlands, France, Canada, England and the United States. For 13 funding agencies, we compared their intentions to support, their actions related to science integration into policy and practice, and the reported benefits of this integration. We did a qualitative content analysis of the reports and information provided on the funding agencies' websites. Most funding agencies emphasized the importance of science integration into policy and practice in their strategic orientation, and stated how this integration was structured. Their funding activities were embedded in the push, pull, or linkage/exchange knowledge transfer model. However, few program funding efforts were based on all three models. The agencies reported more often on the benefits of integration on practice, rather than on policy. External programs that were funded largely covered science integration into policy and practice at the end of grant stage, while overlooking the initial stages. Finally, external funding actions were more prominent than internally initiated bridging activities and training activities on such integration. This paper contributes to research on science implementation because it goes beyond the two community model of researchers versus end users, to include funding agencies. Users of knowledge may be end users in health organizations like hospitals; civil servants assigned to decision making positions within funding agencies; civil servants outside of the Ministry of Health, such as the Ministry of the Environment; politicians deciding on health-related legislation; or even university researchers whose work builds on previous research. This heterogeneous sample of users may require different user-specific mechanisms for research initiation, development and dissemination. This paper builds the foundation for further discussion on science implementation from the perspective of funding agencies in the health field. In general, case studies can help in identifying best practices for evidence-informed decision making.
    Implementation Science 02/2014; 9(1):28.
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial resistance development is one of the most urgent problems in healthcare worldwide. In Europe, dentistry accounts for a comparatively high amount of antibiotic prescriptions. In light of increasing levels of bacterial resistance, this development is alarming. So far, very few interventional studies have been performed, and further research is urgently needed. By means of a complex educational intervention, the DREAM trial aims at optimising antibiotic prescribing behaviour of general dentists in Germany. This is a cluster-randomised controlled trial, where each cluster consists of one dental practice and all of its patients in a defined period. Participants are general dentists practicing in the German region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Randomisation takes place after baseline data collection (6 months) and will be stratified by the antibiotic prescribing rates of the participating dental practices. Dentists randomised into the intervention group will participate in a complex small group educational seminar that aims at: increasing knowledge on bacterial resistance, pharmacology, and prophylaxis of infectious endocarditis; increasing awareness of dentist-patient communication using video-taped vignettes of dentist-patient communication on antibiotic treatment; improving collaboration between general dentists, general practitioners, and practice-based cardiologists on the necessity of antibiotic prophylaxis; enhancing awareness of the dentists' own prescribing habits by providing antibiotic prescribing feedback; and increasing patient knowledge on antibiotic treatment by providing patient-centred information material on antibiotic prophylaxis of endocarditis. The dentists randomised into the control group will not receive any educational programme and provide care as usual. Primary outcome is the overall antibiotic prescribing rate measured at T1 (period of six months after intervention). In a subgroup of adult patients affected by odontogenic infections, microbiological analyses for antibiotic resistance of oral streptococci are performed. Major aim of the study is to improve the process of decision making with regard to antibiotic prescribing. The approach is simple to implement and might be used rapidly in graduate and post-graduate medical education. We expect the results of this trial to have a major impact on antibiotic prescription strategies and practices in Germany.Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN09576376.
    Implementation Science 02/2014; 9(1):27.
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    ABSTRACT: To quantify the extent to which clinicians use clinically-efficacious decision aids as intended during implementation in practice and how fidelity to usage instructions correlates with shared decision making (SDM) outcomes. Participant-level meta-analysis including six practice-based randomized controlled trials of SDM in various clinical settings encompassing a range of decisions. Of 339 encounters in the SDM intervention arm of the trials, 229 were video recorded and available for analysis. The mean proportion of fidelity items observed in each encounter was 58.4% (SD = 23.2). The proportion of fidelity items observed was significantly associated with patient knowledge (p = 0.01) and clinician involvement of the patient in decision making (p <0.0001), while no association was found with patient decisional conflict or satisfaction with the encounter. Clinicians' fidelity to usage instructions of point-of-care decision aids in randomized trials was suboptimal during their initial implementation in practice, which may have underestimated the potential efficacy of decision aids when used as intended.
    Implementation Science 02/2014; 9(1):26.
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    ABSTRACT: Although dental care settings provide an exceptional opportunity to reach smokers and provide brief cessation advice and treatment to reduce oral and other tobacco-related health conditions, dental care providers demonstrate limited adherence to evidence-based guidelines for treatment of tobacco use and dependence. Guided by a multi-level, conceptual framework that emphasizes changes in provider beliefs and organizational characteristics as drivers of improvement in tobacco treatment delivery, the current protocol will use a cluster, randomized design and multiple data sources (patient exit interviews, provider surveys, site observations, chart audits, and semi-structured provider interviews) to study the process of implementing clinical practice guidelines for treating tobacco dependence in 18 public dental care clinics in New York City. The specific aims of this comparative-effectiveness research trial are to: compare the effectiveness of three promising strategies for implementation of tobacco use treatment guidelines--staff training and current best practices (CBP), CBP + provider performance feedback (PF), and CBP + PF + provider reimbursement for delivery of tobacco cessation treatment (pay-for-performance, or P4P); examine potential theory-driven mechanisms hypothesized to explain the comparative effectiveness of three strategies for implementation; and identify baseline organizational factors that influence the implementation of evidence-based tobacco use treatment practices in dental clinics. The primary outcome is change in providers' tobacco treatment practices and the secondary outcomes are cost per quit, use of tobacco cessation treatments, quit attempts, and smoking abstinence. We hypothesize that the value of these promising implementation strategies is additive and that incorporating all three strategies (CBP, PF, and P4P) will be superior to CBP alone and CBP + PF in improving delivery of cessation assistance to smokers. The findings will improve knowledge pertinent to the implementation, dissemination, and sustained utilization of evidence-based tobacco use treatment in dental practices.Trial registration: NCT01615237.
    Implementation Science 02/2014; 9(1):25.
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    ABSTRACT: Immunization quality improvement programs are often limited by the cost and inconvenience associated with delivering face-to-face consultations to primary care providers. To investigate a more efficient mode of intervention delivery, we conducted a process evaluation that compared in-person consultations to those delivered via interactive webinar. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Assessment, Feedback, Incentives, and eXchange (AFIX) Program is an immunization quality improvement program implemented in all 50 states. In 2011, we randomly assigned 61 high-volume primary care clinics in North Carolina to receive an in-person or webinar AFIX consultation focused on adolescent immunization. We used surveys of participating vaccine providers and expense tracking logs to evaluate delivery modes on participation, satisfaction, and cost. Clinics served 71,874 patients, ages 11 to 18. Clinics that received in-person and webinar consultations reported similar levels of participation on key programmatic activities with one exception: more webinar clinics reported improving documentation of previously administered, 'historical' vaccine doses. Both in-person and webinar clinics showed sustained improvement in confidence to use reminder/recall systems (both p < 0.05). Participants rated delivery modes equally highly on satisfaction measures such as convenience (mean = 4.6 of 5.0). Delivery cost per clinic was $152 for in-person consultations versus $100 for webinar consultations. In-person and webinar delivery modes were both well received, but webinar AFIX consultations cost substantially less. Interactive webinar delivery shows promise for considerably extending the reach of immunization quality improvement programs.Trial registration:, NCT01544764.
    Implementation Science 02/2014; 9(1):21.
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) brings significant human and healthcare costs. Its progressive nature means achieving normoglycaemia is increasingly difficult, yet critical to avoiding long term vascular complications. Nearly one-half of people with T2D have glycaemic levels out of target. Insulin is effective in achieving glycaemic targets, yet initiation of insulin is often delayed, particularly in primary care. Given limited access to specialist resources and the size of the diabetes epidemic, primary care is where insulin initiation must become part of routine practice. This would also support integrated holistic care for people with diabetes. Our Stepping Up Program is based on a general practitioner (GP) and practice nurse (PN) model of care supported appropriately by endocrinologists and credentialed diabetes educator-registered nurses. Pilot work suggests the model facilitates integration of the technical work of insulin initiation within ongoing generalist care. This protocol is for a cluster randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of the Stepping Up Program to enhance the role of the GP-PN team in initiating insulin and improving glycaemic outcomes for people with T2D. 224 patients between the ages of 18 and 80 years with T2D, on two or more oral hypoglycaemic agents and with an HbA1c >=7.5% in the last six months will be recruited from 74 general practices. The unit of randomization is the practice.Primary outcome is change in glycated haemoglobin HbA1c (measured as a continuous variable). We hypothesize that the intervention arm will achieve an absolute HbA1c mean difference of 0.5% lower than control group at 12 months follow up. Secondary outcomes include the number of participants who successfully transfer to insulin and the proportion who achieve HbA1c measurement of <7.0%. We will also collect data on patient psychosocial outcomes and healthcare utilization and costs. The study is a pragmatic translational study with important potential implications for people with T2D, healthcare professionals and funders of healthcare though making better use of scarce healthcare resources, improving timely access to therapy that can improve disease outcomes.Trial registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612001028897.
    Implementation Science 02/2014; 9(1):20.

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